Community Property and Equitable Distribution

During a divorce, you and your spouse may have a lot of things to argue about, such as alimony, child custody, and child support. It can be said that child custody is the most emotional among all possible disputes, but don’t underestimate the value of assets and money. Division of property can be as equally emotional as any other dispute area during a divorce.

So, how is property divided? It can be divided either through community property or equitable distribution. The legal concept that will be utilized will depend on the state. For example, according to the website of Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, Texas is a community property state, meaning that it divides properties using the legal concept of community property and not equitable distribution.

Community Property

The legal concept of community property has this basic idea – all assets accumulated and acquired during the marriage are a shared property of the husband and wife. In the event of a divorce, these assets are equally divided among the spouses.

Also under this legal concept, there are certain assets that are not divided among the spouses, and these are called separate property. These assets are those specifically named for a specific spouse, like debts, gifts, and inheritances. The specific spouse will be able to keep these assets on his or her own.

Equitable Distribution

The legal concept of equitable distribution has this basic idea – all marital assets are divided justly, meaning the spouses will get the share they rightfully deserve. Often, the division is not fifty-fifty. One spouse is likely to be more favored – the spouse who have contributed more in the accumulation and acquisition of these marital assets.

For example, if a husband has an extremely higher salary compared to the wife, and has bought a lot more assets compared to the wife, he may be entitled to more of the assets, unlike the equal division in the legal concept of community property.

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